Essay On Ecosystem Resilience

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Realistic aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems are constantly adapting to various disturbances of anthropogenic and natural origin. According to the “Alternative stable state theory” ecosystem has various states and can switch from one state to another when ecosystem conditions are changing (Holling, 1973; Scheffer, 2001). When the magnitude of such disturbance is negligible, the shift in the ecosystem structure and functioning does not occur. In this case the ecosystem resilience allows it to return to its original state (REF). Population densities are changing rapidly in response to a small disturbance. Such quantitative change does not necessarily lead to ecosystem structural and functional shift. On the other way around, when perturbation is large enough, ecosystem may shift to a different state. When the critical point is reached the change is not reversible and return to the original state is not possible. The threshold at which the shift happens depends on the extent of disturbance and on the degree of ecosystem resilience (REF). This ability of ecosystem to resist changing cond...

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